In what was possibly a fitting end to the storied careers of both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Boston Celtics went down swinging.
After their improbable Game 5 win in New York, 92-86 the Celtics had an opportunity to become only the fourth team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after down 0-3, and for an incredible 19-0 run in the fourth quarter, it sure looked like it.
Behind the gutsy defense of Avery Bradley and timely scoring of Jeff Green, Boston would rally from a nearly insurmountable 26 point deficit with 9:42 remaining to within four with 4:05 left.
For Knicks fans everywhere, the C’s near-comeback had to be the longest five-plus minutes of pure agony in their life.
In a game that New York basically had in hand and were up 75-49, you cannot help but question the mental fortitude of the Knicks now.
Despite winning 88-80, the Knicks should have never allowed themselves to be in this type of situation in the first place up by more than 20, and on the road in a close-out situation.
I mean with no disrespect to the Knicks, but New York has failed to show that they can effectively close out a team so far in the playoffs in allowing a veteran ballclub claw it’s way back from a 0-3 hole—and almost—pull off the greatest comeback in NBA playoff history, while channeling their inner 2004 Red Sox—the Knicks have some serious issues to discuss going forward.
While Boston is in the midst of a potential rebuild, and the stark possibility of losing either—or both Pierce and Garnett, New York’s next opponent in the Indiana pacers are much younger and just as battle-tested as the old and cagey Celtics.
If this was indeed the last time that basketball fans got to see both Pierce and Garnett don the fabled Boston green, then you could not ask for a better sendoff.
If I am a Knicks fan now, while I would breathe a sigh of relief in escaping the garden and savoring the Knicks first playoff series win since 2000, I would sleep lightly with one eye open.
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected] follow me on Twitter @RC_TheInscriber and follow The Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber